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Visiting a Roman Villa in Malibu

J. Paul Getty built a copy of a Roman Villa to house his art collection. This still houses the antiquities collections (Greek, Roman and Etruscan pieces)

sunny 75 °F

Wow, what a day! Warning - Lots of Photo's today (but not even close to how many I actually took)!!!

First of course we had to unpack all Mom's stuff from the car and fit it into the RV (we'd been too tired to unpack it Friday night). This went better than I expected, so I also had time to replace one of the vent covers on the roof that had cracked.

Then we headed back over to my brother's house in Long Beach.


They've been busy taking advantage of the warmer growning climate down here, so Mom planted Bougainvillea along the fence and Charlie planted a number of fruit tree's, including this banana tree. (These are just thumbnails, you can click them to enlarge):


The Getty Villa is free, but you have to reserve tickets so they can keep the flow of visitors to a reasonable level. We had a little free time before our scheduled 12:30 start, so engaged in a little Rummy Cubes (THE favorite game in this family). Charlie's an absolute terror in this game, but somehow I managed to beat him today (maybe he's getting rusty?). That's my niece, Colleen on the right - she didn't show up very well in the dinner photo from yesterday.


My brother offered to drive to the Getty Villa, which I gladly accepted seeing as I wasn't sure how to get around. It took us well over an hour to get from Long Beach to north Malibu, lots of traffic and a little on the warm side. However the views were nice and we got there just about 12:30 relatively unscathed. The road from the street is modeled after a roman road uncovered in Pompei:


Once we found our way out of the parking garage, we hiked up a couple flights of stairs (they have elevators also) and walked out into a patio overlooking an outdoor theater. Charlie seems to be enjoying this impressive sight:


Just to the right of the theater is the Villa itself, or the Museum.


In addition to housing J. Paul Getty's collection of art from the Greek/Roman era, the museum also shares art with other museums. This piece was on loan from a museum in Italy and will probably be returned shortly, so we were fortunate to see it while it was still here. Normally there is a small rain catchment pool where the statue was displayed.


There are quite a few smaller, windowless rooms surrounding the main entrance that in Roman times would have been the bedrooms. In the Getty Museum, each one is used to exhibit different types of art - bronze, silver, pottery, etc. When you go on through the entrance, there is an open garden area surrounded by a covered walkway or peristyle. This is the inner peristyle.


Then you go through a room that in Roman times would have been the dining area (I've already forgotten the name) into a much larger garden/pool area, the outter peristyle.


The gardens and pool are so lovely it would be easy to overlook the covered walkways. However the construction details are so impressive they deserve a second look. The Fresco's are especially impressive, and all were careful reproductions of fresco's found in roman villa's of that time.


Part way down the outter peristyle looking back is a very impressive view of the Villa itself.


Finally, outside the walls of the outter peristyle is an herb garden. At the Getty, they attempted to make it realistic, so include plants from the Mediteranian such as one might find in an actual Roman villa. There are many, many of these plants in the garden, including this papyrus.


Leaving the Getty property, you get a sense of just how close to the beach it is, just as the original villa overlooked the Bay of Naples.


Charlie had a company dinner to attend tonight, so we didn't take time to stop at the beach today, but I got a couple of nice shots of it. I believe this is all part of the Malibu beach, many VERY EXPENSIVE ($5M+?) homes line up between the road, Pacific Highway, and the beach. But there are also openings and public parking (not free) and beach access.


Since my brother and his family were pretty much tied up from that point, Mom and I went back to the RV, hooked up the car, and headed south towards San Diego. The plan is to go to the San Diego zoo Sunday morning but we were a little too tired to make it all the way to the Thousand Trails campground east of San Diego so are crashing in a rest area part way there. It has an 8 hour stay limit, so we may have to move before morning. It did have a nice sunset though.


ps - I probably should have included more of these photo's as thumbnails instead of full size photos - but the subject matter was just too spectacular to compromise!

Posted by jl98584 23:24 Archived in USA Tagged villa roman getty

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